The modern workforce is rapidly swapping the security of an office-based, nine-to-five job with the flexibility of freelancing.

In fact, figures from Forbes suggest 59% of U.S. companies now use a flexible workforce to some degree, with new tactics to attract and hire the best talent emerging by the day. 

Managing a remote team is vastly different than managing a team working in an office cubicle and recruiters ought to look for specific traits that warrant a candidate is suitable for remote work. 

Let’s see how you can recognize dependable freelancers and look into the ways you can assess their competence in your recruiting process.

Screening: Is it Real Talk or Gibberish?‌

When exchanges take place online rather than in person, prompt, meaningful communication means the difference between a misunderstood brief and a job well done. 

Notice the way your candidates worded their proposal. Is it the same old, generic copypasta they send out to all of their prospects or is it written from scratch and relevant to your project specifics? 

The latter is a telltale sign the candidate is taking the notion of working with you seriously and can communicate their abilities clearly. Let’s see what they can bring to the table. 

What Do Their Previous Clients Have to Say?

There’s no better way of understanding a person’s attitude, skills, and ability to collaborate than checking their past professional experiences. 

Here, you’ll stumble upon important nuggets of information – how they approached their past projects, and how exactly they moved the needle. 

Are they a valuable team player who contributed to the collaborative spirit? Is there anything pointing out to the lack of reliability, competence or professionalism? 

Interviewing: Can They Lead the Way?

Let’s assume you’re impressed with your candidate’s proposal and work history. You’re ready to move forward. 

During the interview aim to evaluate their attention to detail, self-motivation and time management skills – all of which are traits of dependable freelancers.

Wouldn’t it be better if your candidate took initiative? Let them tell you how they’d solve a role-related problem, step by step. Test their proactiveness. Competence and behavioral-based questions yield the best results.

Sample Revision: Are They Able to Work Independently?

Freelancing is different from an in-house role in that it requires a high degree of self-discipline; someone who’s working from home can easily get sidetracked into procrastination.

Have your shortlisted candidates undertake the same, paid trial task. This will give you a good picture of how self-sufficient the candidate is. In other words, you’ll know whether the person can get the work done without direct supervision, to your brief and to the set deadline. 

Always provide candidates in this phase with constructive feedback – they’ve invested a lot of time and effort to get to this phase and those who end up rejected deserve to know why. 

Hired: The Last Freelancer Standing

Now that you’ve finished compiling a solid profile of your candidates, identifying the right fit for your remote team should occur naturally. 

Bearing in mind companies generally lose $14,900 on every bad hire (the cost of missing out on a good worker is even higher), one can quickly see the importance of having a strong recruiting process in place. 

But even if your quality of hire is high, the process can be slow and cumbersome. Here’s how you can optimize your time-to-hire and fill in the positions with dependable freelancers, faster.

Leveraging the Power of Data-Driven Recruiting 

To shift towards data-driven recruiting, you first need to visualize your hiring process. This means mapping every touch point between application and hire. You can use Trello to create a Kanban board that reflects your job opening. 

Card moving across the columns on the board will represent a candidate passing through different interview stages. Those who end up failing at any step should be moved to the ‘Rejected’ state. Conversely, the successful candidates are moved to the ‘Hired’ state upon job offer acceptance.

Here’s how your recruiting board will look like in flesh.

Recruiting process

Now we can easily track the status of all candidates without having to sift through a stack of resumes. We can also add comments on each card to keep crucial information linked with each candidate handy. 

Visualizing saves time but it doesn’t necessarily save us from a poor candidate experience.

How do we know our hiring process isn’t taking too long? Why is our applicant-per-hire rate so low? Is there a particular stage in our hiring funnel candidates are getting stuck in? These are the bigger questions kanban analytics can answer.

Recruitment agencies from all over the world use Nave’s Kanban Analytics solution to improve their workflow performance. Try it out today on your favorite platform!

Improve Your Hiring Efforts with Kanban Analytics Charts

To simplify and accelerate your hiring process, ask yourself the following:

How Does Our Time-to-Hire Compare to the Industry Average? 

Time-to-hire is used to gauge the effectiveness of your recruiting process. It measures how many days have passed since your candidate applied and accepted the job offer.

Here’s the average US time-to-hire by industry:

DHI Group’s Hiring Indicators September 2017 report

Data taken from DHI Group’s Hiring Indicators September 2017 report

The Kanban Analytics Power-Up in Trello will help you get on the right track. You can quickly see your average time-to-hire with the Cycle Time Histogram (CTH). This tool will give you your mean (average) time to hire for any time period you select. Do you, on average, hire faster or slower than your competitors?

Hiring dependable freelancers - Cycle Time Histogram

What’s Our Applicant-to-Hire Ratio? 

How many people have applied to your job opening this month and how many have you hired? 

To measure this, you can use the Throughput Run Chart (TRC). Filter out ‘Rejected’ process state to calculate the ratio between applied candidates and those who ended up getting hired.

Hiring dependable freelancers - Throughput Run Chart

If your applicant-to-hire ratio is extremely high (more than 100:1), ask yourself whether your process is too demanding.

Where Are the Candidates Getting Stuck?

Want to check how much time, on average, your candidates are spending in each interview stage? The average cycle time for each of your process steps will enable you to identify the slowest ones.

Go ahead and compare your cross-state average times and gain a better understanding of where candidates are failing to move forward the most.

Remember to analyze the values with your context in mind. If you’re spending most time revising samples, maybe there’s a good reason for it (you could be working in medical device manufacturing or another industry with high quality requirements).

The same applies to other steps. Is your screening process taking too long, causing you to lose potential hires? Are too many candidates getting rejected in the interviewing stage? Who’s the interviewer and what questions are being asked?

Use this information to speed up your hiring funnel and optimize the candidate experience.

Maximizing Your Chances of Success

Kanban analytics tools such as CTH and TRC can help you answer many more questions that will result in a more automated, efficient hiring process. A process that starts with hiring dependable remote workers and ends with continuous, data-driven optimization of the recruiting funnel. 

And considering freelancing isn’t just a passing fad, but rather a workplace trend that’s here to stay, we are bound to see a growing number of recruiters base their decisions on data to build a reliable, productive remote team.

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